Zurich Installed 4,500 Street Sensors to Count Every Car in the City

Congestion pricing—the implementation of high tolls to keep cars out of congested downtown areas—is one of the most effective ways to reduce traffic and emissions. Zurich's plan goes above and beyond that, using a network of sensors to track the number of cars that enter its downtown and prevent more cars from… » 10/16/14 3:46pm Thursday 3:46pm

Explore the Largest Steam Pipe System in the World, Hidden Beneath NYC

In its latest adventure, New York Times' Living City series explores the city's enormous underground steam distribution system. Unlike anywhere in the world, New York hides away the largest steam system that powers all types of humidification sources, preserving museum art to even dishwashers in every restaurant… » 10/09/14 5:32pm 10/09/14 5:32pm

Toyota's New Transit Idea Is Like a Bikeshare for Tiny Electric Cars

Small, weird-looking smartcars are nothing new; there are plenty of them on the road, especially in cities where space is at a premium. But Toyota has launched something that makes great use of its zippy 3-wheeled i-Road vehicles: a new car-sharing service that integrates with a city's existing transit system. » 9/12/14 5:01pm 9/12/14 5:01pm

Americans Have Taken 23 Million Bike Share Rides and No One Has Died

With 36 cities across the country now hosting their own systems, bike share is almost becoming an American institution. According to a new report, it's estimated that Americans have taken 23 million rides since 2007 (wow!), but here's the most amazing part: Not a single death has been attributed to a bike share system… » 8/12/14 1:46pm 8/12/14 1:46pm

Why Google Is So Interested In Kenya's Transit System

The thousands of graphics-covered minibuses called matatus that zip through Nairobi make up one of the largest (and liveliest) informal transportation systems in the world. This unregulated—some might say renegade—transit keeps the city moving rather efficiently, and, until recently, was an all-cash business. Until… » 7/17/14 4:44pm 7/17/14 4:44pm

Why Bikes Make Smart People Say Dumb Things

Scott Simon's bio on the NPR website describes him as "one of America's most admired writers and broadcasters," and it's tough to argue with that. As a Peabody-winning journalist with decades of experience, Simon's credentials are unimpeachable, and as the Saturday host of Weekend Edition, he regularly shows himself… » 7/07/14 5:32pm 7/07/14 5:32pm

Why Countdown Clocks for Pedestrians Actually Cause More Car Crashes

As a frequent traveler by foot, I love countdowns at crosswalks. They tell me whether I should wait out 2 seconds or leisurely walk across in 15. And indeed, these countdowns do make pedestrians safer. But it turns out that countdowns actually cause more crashes between cars. Here's why. » 7/01/14 4:34pm 7/01/14 4:34pm

Why Don't More Cities Have E-Bike Shares?

This week, Madrid became the first European city to launch a fully electric bike share system for its residents. It works just like a regular bike share, but better: An electric motor kicks in to help with pedaling, and most importantly, give you an extra push up hills. Why isn't this standard for bike shares… » 6/24/14 4:56pm 6/24/14 4:56pm

How Bad Street Design Kills Pedestrians

In the United States between 2003 and 2012, one pedestrian was hit by a car every eight minutes. 676,000 of those pedestrians lived. 47,025 of those pedestrians died. That's 16 times the number of people who were killed by natural disasters like floods, earthquakes, or tornadoes during the same period. » 6/03/14 1:57pm 6/03/14 1:57pm

What Will Happen When All Paris Traffic Slows To 19 Miles Per Hour?

Sixty percent vehicles in Paris run on diesel, and the city is struggling to curb emissions—banning half its cars for a day, making public transport and bike shares free for a weekend, and pedestrianizing large swathes of the urban grid. Now, a new proposal by Mayor Anne Hidalgo will cap the speed limit at 30… » 5/27/14 7:12pm 5/27/14 7:12pm

A Rare Trip On The Floating Train Yard Of Hudson Harbor

The only two options that freight trains have for accessing the east side of the Hudson River are to cross a bridge in Albany—140 painstaking miles North of New York City—or to ride a rail barge across the Hudson through the highly efficient marine-rail operation run by NYNJ Rail in Jersey City. » 5/10/14 1:43pm 5/10/14 1:43pm

NYC's Most Lucrative Fire Hydrant Earns The City $33,000 a Year

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The fire hydrant. For decades, it has been feared by any New York City driver who dares to venture out without a tape measure. If your car comes within 15 feet of a hydrant, the next thing you know you may be at the tow pound, picking it up with a several hundred dollar bill. » 5/01/14 3:53pm 5/01/14 3:53pm

Three of the World's Prettiest Parking Garages Are In One Small City

Parking garages are ugly by their very nature: They're metal cages that take up valuable space in our cities to house our automobiles for a few high-priced hours. But not all garages have to be ugly. In fact, three of the most beautiful are located within a few blocks of each other, in the city of Santa Monica,… » 4/14/14 6:10pm 4/14/14 6:10pm